OZT: No Quarter! No Sanctuary! #3 (March 2002)
- "You will serve my experiment nicely." said the man as he carried the body into the shadows and disappeared.
OZT: No Quarter! No Sanctuary! pt 3
'Book of Revelations'
by Da Dunt
The Fall's Edge Compound was located in the heart of the mountains of western Virginia. The once former home of the government sponsored team X-Factor, it now housed the team designated Freedom Force. Former mutant criminal selected by the commission on Super-Human Activities. Their mission statement was 'anti-terrorism through super-human countermeasures". Basically they were mutants working toward their freedom, by defending the country they once victimized.
One of those men was Cain Marko, the world renowned terrorist known better as The Juggernaut. He had recently turned himself over the New York State Police, who in turn, handed him over to the Commission. They in turned offered him a spot on Freedom Force in exchange for information about his step-brother Charles Xavier. He was more than
happy to give them what they wanted, and in turn he got what he wanted.
He sat in front of a computer, typing in the name of a man, he considered his best friend.
He waited while hundreds of names quickly scrolled past, and then the names stopped and one name was highlighted and flashing. He hit the 'return' key and the screen went blank and then began printing the information to the screen.
Name : Thomas Cassidy
Alias : Black Tom
Status : Incarcerated in Ryker's Island Correctional Facility
"I found you Tom, don't worry, Cain is coming for you."
Cain Marko, turned off the computer and got up. He turned around to see Calvin Rankin standing in the shadows of the doorway.
"I knew you were up to something, I just didn't know what."
"Cain Marko laughed, "And what? You gonna stop me?"
"I am going to try," answered the man codenamed Mimic, as his eyes started to glow red. The optic blast cut through the air faster than Cain could react. It slammed into his chest and sent him stumbling back. He dusted off his shirt and started walking toward his attacker. He grabbed the man and started to squeeze. But the man was gone a second later, appearing across the room. He fired off another optic blast, with no effect
Cain could hear the sounds of feet running down the hall. Soon the rest of Freedom Force would show up, and then he would be in trouble. He punched the wall to his left, sending steel and concrete, hundreds of feet to the river below. He looked back at Mimic and waved goodbye and jumped out the hole. The fall would have killed any other man, but Cain Marko was the Juggernaut, and nothing stopped the Juggernaut. He had an appointment in New York City. Hopefully he could avoid any heroes while he was there.
The rest of Freedom Force poured into the room. Most of them were in their pajamas or underwear. Dominic Petros, the seismic powered Avalanche asked what had happened.
"Our liaison just resigned. By the way, why didn't anyone tell me Juggernaut wasn't a mutant. I almost got killed trying to mimic his powers."
"I thought he was," replied Nil Styger, Abyss
"Idiots," was the comment from Sally Blevins, the force-field wielding mutant called Skids. "The Juggernaut gets his powers from a magic ruby."
"What ever the case, looks like we need to get ourselves another member. Anyone have suggestions?" asked Locus as she learned out the hole created by the Juggernaut.
[ Capone's Vault ]
The sea crashed against the shore, the winds audible even through the massive reinforced wall that made up the underwater prison. The massive Mark I series sentinels were unmoving as the massive waves crashed against their legs. On the roof of the small access building, the smaller models struggled to maintain position in the tempest winds. Nicholas Bastion worked on the sedated body of Brian Lyles. The operation was working out better than he had expected. The man's body was adjusting to the cybernetic implants rather quickly. This pleased the man responsible for the Prime Sentinel program.
A view screen behind Bastion came to life, he turned around and saw that Core had managed to capture another mutant. It was not one of the Twelve, but the Core was starting to get close to the truth. He hoped that he would be ready in time. If the Core was able to capture even one of the Twelve, then his plans would be for naught. He turned back to the operating table, more focused than before.
Several Levels below Bastion, Mortimer Toynbee crawled his way through the ventilation system. He had been trapped within the tunnel like system for over a day. He had managed to find some food, but for the most part had not found anything else of interest in his searches. He was attempting to make his way to the surface, where he hoped to steal a ship to take him ashore.
As he passed an opening in the system, he stopped to look out. He spotted a man cutting open the security guard who had been torturing him a few days earlier. He thought of how the man deserved what he was getting. He turned and started down the system again, when he stopped and turned around. He knew he should continue on, but there was something inside him that demanded he help the man.
[ Elsewhere ]
Viktor Kowls stood in amazement at the village, if it could be called that, before him. Buildings four, some five, stories tall rested on the valley floor. Cobble stone roads ran between all the buildings, giving the feeling of an old Bavarian village. The site seemed otherworldly, a impossible feat for the group of people known as the Neo. The Neo claimed to be a genetic offshoot of mutants. Possessing the ability to change their powers at will, they were possibly the next step in the evolution of mutant kind.
"Impressive, is it not?" asked the woman called Domina as she came up behind the general.
"I don't--how-- this is impossible."
"What? That we could build such a civilization, or that humans are unaware of its existence," asked the man next to Domina.
"How did you do it?"
Domina looked at him and replied coldly, "We are Neo, there is nothing we can not do, if we can imagine it."
"Allow me to explain," said a man stepping forward. The man starts to explain where the Neo came from. The group had emerged as an offshoot of humanity about six hundred years earlier. They had been a small group back then, consisting of less than ten members. They had started out in the middle European nations, traveling from place to place to avoid persecution. Then a man known as Americo Vaspuci (sp?) had set out to establish a route to the western Indies, an expedition similar to the one being done by Christopher Columbus.
The Neo had been aboard that ship, serving as crew men, and upon the ships arrival in this new world, they had decided to establish a colony. The wished to create a place for themselves where they could not have to hide who or what they were. And so they fled late on night, and eventually settled in the valley where they now resided. And they had managed to stay hidden, the General being the first outsider in over a century.
The General turned to Domina and asked, "What will happen to me?"
"We can not allow you to leave, you have seen too much."
"You can not keep me here. You have no right." replied the General, his voice taking on a tone of anger.
Suddenly the sounds of jet engines could be heard approaching the village. As the occupants of the hidden city turned their eyes to the sky, the sounds became louder and louder. Yet no source for the noise could be seen, then suddenly, the roof of one home burst into flames before it and the house next to it collapsed in upon themselves. Several other homes followed suit, and the people became to scream. That is when all chaos broke out. Beams of light began to strike down those gathered in the square.
And then the source of the mayhem, showed itself. Five massive robots, each over fifty feet tall. They were blue and purple in color, with code soulless white eyes. They took their time, picking off one helpless mutant after the next. "Purification of the valley, commencing. Terminate all mutant bio-signatures. Population now at seventy-five percent and decreasing."
[ Washington DC ]
The office of the President of the United States was the center of loud debating. It was not that uncommon an occurrence when the two men inside met each other. It was just how they carried a conversation. There was no hatred, or bitter feelings between the two, just a clash of opinions. One man was the head of an organization designed to monitor super-powered individuals, and the other was the President of the United States.
"--w was I supposed to know he would--"
"Henry, the man is an international terrorist. What ever possessed you to even consider the idea."
"He had information that was worth the risk. Everything we had on Xavier and his X-Men disappeared a few years back."
"I fail to see the connection. Cain Marko is wanted for murder, extortion, and countless other crimes in 18 nations..
Henry Gyrich clenched his hand in a fist shook it at his side. "This program was your idea, Robert. I was opposed to the whole thing from the get go."
Robert Kelly looked at the man he considered to one of his closest friends. "Not everyone with powers has a hidden agenda, an ulterior motive. These criminal deserve the chance to reform, and if it is defending the United States, so much the better.
"And what if they decide to return to their former lifestyle?
"That is a risk we run, Henry. But after New York, we need people that we can send in to do the dirty work. What if my predecessors had established these type of groups. Could we have avoided the lose of life, could this have been avoided."
"Perhaps it is time we increased the annual S.H.I.E.L.D. budget"
"Perhaps, Henry. Perhaps."
[ Back in Canada ]
Ten tiny missiles slammed into the metal plating that made up the Sentinel's face. Its head exploded, sending the now functionless robot tipping forward. Its body crashing into the buildings that made up the town square. The Neo did their best to fight off the mutant killing machines that were slaughtering the members of their clan. Flames, electricity, plasma bombs, what ever they could think of, it became true. The robots were quickly declining in numbers, and as the last of them fell, the remaining members of the clan were quickly upon them. They ripped the machines apart tearing the limbs from their sockets.
Domina and the leaders of the War Clan approached General Kowls, but their intent was unknown. The General suspected that they may want to harm him, in retaliation for the Sentinel attack. Instead, Domina offered her hand to him, a gesture of thanks. As the residents of the town finished ripping the robots apart, one brought over a large black box. It was used to store video feed from the optic sensors for later study. The General asked to see the box, and a wire dropped down from his inner arm. He used his empty hand to attach the wire to the video port and uploaded the data to his own systems.
The information he received, was to say the best, disheartening. Everything the robot had monitored in the last seventy hours was stored on the hard drive inside the recorder. The attack on Capone's Vault, the groups retreat, the attack on the Charon, as well as what seemed to be an attack on one of Magneto's followers. But perhaps the worse thing on the tape was the identity of the man behind all the death and mayhem. The man that had originally created the Prime Sentinel process, Nicholas Hunter Bastion.
"What is it? What does the box contain?" asked Babylonia, a woman who had joined the group in front of him.
"That this was just the beginning. And unless the man responsible is stopped, tens of thousands will die."
The leaders of the clan took several steps away from the General, and began talking amongst themselves. The discussion seemed to become heated at times, with the debate jumping from one member of the group to the next. The General was unsure of what they were talking about, but he hoped that it was about the possibility of helping him. He know that he was going to have to gather what ever remained of OZT and lead an assault to stop Bastion. The more people he had on his side, the better the chances that the madman's plans could be averted.
[ Capone's Vault ]
Sub-Level six was in the midst of restoration, making it easy for the man known as the Toad to hide. Mortimer Toynbee had been captured and brought to this place weeks ago. In that time he was the butt of the inmates joke, the personal bag of a angry guard, and finally the chief witness for the governments inquiry into the action of the personnel stationed. Now he just did his best to survive, avoiding the pink man that was experimenting on people in the medical bay upstairs
"And they don't wear pants on the other side of France, but they do wear fleas to protect them from the bees," sang the man as he heated to piece of meat on the electric stove he found on the loading bay. He had tried to find something that would allow him to float away, but the emergency vehicles had been destroyed, and the massive wooden crate lay shattered in the frigid waters, remnant of the failed reconstruction efforts. So he was forced to eek out a living as best he could, hoping, praying that somebody would come to rescue him and the others.
[ Capone's Vault - Medical Bay Two ]
Bastion stood over the results of his latest experiment, what he liked to refer to as Nimrod Primes. The merging of Nimrod technology with the covert attributes of the Prime sentinel. The ultimate Sentinel, with the capacity to rebuild itself from the smallest of remains. It could go anywhere, look like anyone, and eradicate anything that stood between it and the directives that drove it. IT had once been a man, but now it was the greatest killing machine ever created
"Wha-- what have you done to me?" asked Brian Lyles as he starred up from the operation table.
"I have rebuilt you... I had the technology... you are better than you were... better... stronger... Faster."
"I'll kill you. you. bastard!"
"You would find that a very difficult task, I assure you." Bastion pulled the last of the wires running to the man's arms. "I made sure to program in a fail safe, can't risk turning my back and having you get ideas."
"Why? What is it you want?"
"It is really quiet simple, all I want is the complete eradication of every mutant on the planet. They are a disease, a scar of the face of this planet, one that has been allowed to fester for far to long. You and others like you will aid me in destroying these impure monstrosities."
[ Idaho ]
The hanger was the best the remaining members of OZT could find on such short notice. Men and women geared up for the upcoming counter assault on their former base. If everything went as scheduled, the group would be leaving within the hour. The first of the military C1-30's could be heard overhead, in all there were fifteen of the massive transports. As they touched down of the airfield, they were ordered to their predetermined parking spots to begin loading. Eighty-three personnel were assigned to each transport, totaling one thousand and forty-five combined troops to attempt to reclaim the inescapable prison.
Most of the group would consist of Prime sentinels, with back up support from a special division of S.H.I.E.L.D. super soldiers as well as a regiment of men in the latest Hulkbuster armour.
"All right folks, you know you assignment," announced G.W. Bridges or the radio link up, 'He will insert three miles from the target. After that you all will have ten minutes to cover the distance to the island. Once there, we will begin the operation. Bridge out."
[ To be continued ]
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